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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Five Ways to Promote Like a Pro

What's on the iPod: Holy by Frightened Rabbit

client, writing, freelance, work
Despite having three phone calls yesterday and an article to frame in, I felt like I had plenty of time. I wasn't rushed, so I was able to squeeze in some conference marketing and work on a course project I'm developing. A good, productive day.

As I sent out those LOIs, I thought about the ways in which we promote ourselves and our businesses. Sure, the LOI is one way, but the new client I spoke with yesterday found me - not the other way around. I had posted my link on a LinkedIn forum that asked everyone to do so. He'd seen it. He sent a note. The result was yesterday's conversation.

So obviously I was handed that golden opportunity by the forum owner. And that's the thing -- if they're not asking for your link on a forum posting, I'd not be promoting heavily. That's a great way to get banned from the group.

Not every opportunity is so neatly wrapped and presented. So how do you promote your freelance writing business in a way that gets you noticed and hired? Try these:

Sensible use of social media. Note the word "sensible." It's less about using all the forms of social media to create an all-out blitz of "Look at me" messages and more about choosing social media outlets that make sense to you and using them to interact as well as promote. If you read here regularly, you know I'm against using social media to send out constant self-promotion with no interaction. Tone it down. Think about what you'd like to read and present your information that way.

Deliver quality. I've scored gigs based on my reputation and my articles. Those who work with me regularly know me to be reliable, but they also know they're going to get articles and work that reflect the best I can bring. I may not hit the mark every time, but I try my damnedest to. That shows. Focus not on getting the job done, but getting the job done right.

Start a conversation. Try a Twitter Tweetup or a LinkedIn group discussion. Ask a question and engage your potential clients in that discussion. It doesn't hurt to include current clients -- they're more inclined to stick with you if they get a sense that you're committed to the industry.

Be seen where readers are. That means learn how to use Reddit, Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, and more. Don't overdo it, and please, read their policies to make sure you're not stepping on toes. By putting your blog posts and articles up for others to find, you increase your awareness and bring in a few more followers.

Be part of the gang. I love LinkedIn Groups because I can rub elbows with any number of potential clients in an informal, conversational setting. I can ask questions, pose problems, and add to someone else's discussion. The same goes for Twitter hash tag conversations -- you're one little # symbol away from attracting the attention of your ideal client base. I suspect the same goes for Google+, though to be honest, I don't use that one so much.

What methods do you use to promote your work and your skills? 
What has worked best for you?


EP said...

I think what you say about quality is what it all revolves around. I mean, you can promote yourself all you want but if you don't deliver that "job done right," it won't lead to anything else. Customers won't come back and word won't get around because there's nothing good to say about you. I think return business is underrated, in other words. Promotion yes, but let your work do most of the talking for you.

Lori said...

EP, that's an excellent point. Promoting among those who already think you rock is the best way to find more work. :)

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